SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado - Deputy District Attorney Scott Turner, a Republican, will join Clear Creek County attorney Bruce Brown in the race for district attorney for the 5th Judicial District.
Current DA Mark Hurlbert will vacate the position he has held for 10 years, which includes Eagle, Lake, Summit and Clear Creek counties, in January 2013, when he is term limited.
Turner, who has been practicing criminal law for more than 20 years, said he will bring nine years of prosecution experience and an understanding of the DA's leadership, administrative and community responsibilities to the job.
"I think this job takes a certain amount of commitment," Turner said. "To me, it's not a job or a paycheck. I believe in what I'm doing."
Turner, who said he has prosecuted as many as a dozen homicides, along with high-profile drug and white collar cases, promised to bring a tough-on-crime stance to the DA's office while distinguishing "between those who present a danger to our community from those who made a mistake."
"I'm going to be a passionate prosecutor," Turner said. "When you're talking with a parent whose child has been murdered ... you want somebody who can represent the memory of their son and make sure that that person is put behind bars for a very long time."
If elected, Turner also said he would look into developing and implementing restorative-justice programs that could work as an alternative to prosecution, particularly for juvenile offenders as a way of both saving taxpayer dollars and keeping younger perpetrators from re-offending.
Turner will run against Brown, a Democrat and criminal defense attorney in Idaho Springs, for the position of top prosecutor in November.
Brown previously ran for DA and lost to Hurlbert in 2004.
Turner, originally from Kansas City, has a bachelor's degree in political science. He graduated from law school at the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 1989 before starting his career as a prosecutor in Jackson County in the sex crimes unit.
He then went into private practice as a criminal defense and personal injury lawyer.
In 2005, Turner was hired on at the Ninth Judicial District Attorney's office in Glenwood Springs, where he was later promoted to chief deputy DA. In 2006 he took a job at the DA's office in Colorado Springs before coming to Summit County as a deputy DA in 2007. He has since been promoted to assistant district attorney, the second highest job in the office.
"This is something I've dreamt about for years," Turner said of his bid for DA.